Dear Light Group,

Sometimes we just want comfort food. Sometimes we just want to eat something that reminds us of a time when we felt comfort, when we felt safe, when we felt everything was going to be all right.

There is comfort food for the body. And then there is comfort food for the soul. For me, comfort food for the soul comes from hearing things that touch a deep place in my heart, things of truth that I may have felt but never put to words, things that get to the essence of goodness, that remind us of a greater truth, that uplift us and give us the courage and the inspiration to go forward.

One of my favorite comfort foods for the soul is the Beatitudes. We tend to think of the Middle East as a crazy, violent place now. But it was a crazy, violent place when Jesus was there two thousand years ago. Can you imagine someone in the Middle East standing before a crowd and delivering the Beatitudes now? At a time that had its own tensions and prejudices and intense emotions, this is what Jesus said:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

At a time and in a place where there were so many rules and where there was so much judgment, Jesus said, “You will receive a blessing.” That was comfort food for the soul of the people of his time. It is comfort food for the soul of people of all time.

Let us carry forward this spirit of comfort and truth. Let us bring it into our world.

You can do that by saying a prayer for everyone you know: “Blessed are you.” Most, if not all, of the people you know harbor some pain, some disappointment, some hurt. Your prayers can help to alleviate that. Just visualize the people you know and say, “Blessed are you.” Whether the people who come to mind are living or dead, say, “Blessed are you.” Once you finish with all of the people you know personally, move on to the people in the news–politicians, sports figures, television personalities, etc.: “Blessed are you.”

Then pray for everyone on Earth: “Blessed are you.”

And before you finish, come back to you: “Blessed am I.”

Love and Light,